Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage Boldly Going Where No Concert Has Gone Before

by Noiz 15. January 2016 06:56

Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage Boldly Going Where No Concert Has Gone Before

As 2016 picks up steam, we find ourselves inundated with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the top grossing movie of all-time.

Episode seven is so ubiquitous even Amish nerds think Han Solo found the Millennium Falcon too quickly.

The franchise is just a scosh over commercialized.  The other day I swear I saw an advertisement for a Boba Fett colostomy bag.

In the midst of Star Wars-this and Star Wars-that, we might forget that 2016 is the 50th anniversary of the greatest science fiction franchise of all-time, Star Trek.

Star Trek
That’s right, Star Trek: The Original Series (the one with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy) debuted on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966.

Despite poor special effects (which would be obliterated a mere decade later by George Lucas’ Star Wars), Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future entered our hearts and captured our imagination.

Fifty years later, the franchise still has us in its tractor beam.

Happy Birthday
What’s the proper way to celebrate a franchise that’s half-a-century old?

Consume copious amount of Romulan ale?

How about a new movie; a new series on network television; a Ken Burns produced, ten hour documentary; an apology from JJ Abrahams for nearly ruining the franchise; and a 100-city concert tour?

The first five things are as likely to happen as a Ferengi giving all of his profits to charity, but that last one, the 100-city concert tour, that’s happening.

Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage
Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage launches Jan. 17 in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Its five-month mission ends May 5 in Houston, Texas.

The Ultimate Voyage is also visiting New Orleans (Jan. 27), Toronto (Feb. 26), Boston (March 4), Los Angeles (April 1 and April 2), and Vancouver, B.C. (April 9).

I know what you’re saying: “Isn’t Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage that one with Captain Janeway?”

You’re thinking of Star Trek Voyager.  This is something completely different.

A Concert And Movie Spectacular
Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage is a live music event.  It not only showcases the indelible music of Star Trek but it celebrates 50 years of the greatest science fiction franchise of all-time.

Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage is such a simple concept that we don’t even need Wesley Crusher’s help in explaining it.  A live symphony orchestra plays the music of Star Trek as footage from the various television series and motion pictures are “beamed” (their word not mine) onto a 40-foot screen.

Remember, the orchestra plays live and they’ll be playing music written especially for the various Star Trek vehicles. 

Songlist
The show unfolds in somewhat of a chronological order from the original series to the latest feature films.  You’ll be treated to music from The Wrath of Khan, The Next Generation, Insurrection, Deep Space Nine, and a bunch of other great Star Trek productions.

It total, the concert has a setlist of 29 pieces of music! 

The Clips
The clips that are” beamed” onto the screen also run the gamut.  Look for clips from the franchise’s earliest days as well as clips from those new movies starring Chris Pine and that guy from Heroes, and everything in between.

For most of the evening, Star Trek montages will accompany the live orchestra.  These montages generally celebrate one subject or another such as aliens or the various crews.

A few times throughout the evening, you’ll be treated to an entire scene.

For example, the famous fight between Kirk and Spock from “Amok Time” is shown in its entirety (more or less).  These “full scenes” constitute some of the best moments of the program.

Warning!!!
Considered yourself warned.  Experiencing the aforementioned scene on a 40-foot screen might ruin your Star Trek: The Original Series DVD collection (that’s assuming you don’t have a 40-foot screen in your television room).

Another thing you should know, the scenes from the original series are taken from the updated 40th anniversary re-release.  You know, when they redid the external shots of the ship and other special effects.

The Captains
You’ll also be treated to rousing speeches from the captains: Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, and Archer.  The music backing these speeches is inspiring stuff.  After hearing it you’ll be more than ready for the Battle of Wolf 359.

As the program closes, you’ll experience a touching tribute to Leonard Nimoy as well as behind-the-scenes images of the making of Star Trek—from the first day of filming the original series to the most recent productions.  Unless you’re a Vulcan or a Soong-type android, you should probably have a tissue handy.

The entire concert lasts over two hours.

“International Special Solo Instruments”
Promotional material for the production boasts that attendees will experience “international special solo instruments.”   I have no idea what this means.  It’s as confusing as a warp drive.

Obviously, an orchestra won’t be making the Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage tour.  That would make tickets more valuable than dilithium crystals. 

Each tour stop is likely to use local musicians.  So maybe the aforementioned phrase has something to do with that.

Narrator
If there’s one complaint about Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage tour it’s the narrator.  Not the quality of the narration but the narrator’s identity.  I looked everywhere and couldn’t find his name.

It sounds like Michael Dorn.  It probably is Michael Dorn.  Star Trek is one franchise that’s not hurting for great voices.  It’s odd that the identity of the narrator is kept a secret especially since the production is so top-notch.

Resistance Is Futile
Star Trek fans will find this unique concert experience exhilarating and completely befitting the franchise.  If you know James T. Kirk’s middle name, and you can tell the difference between a Bajoran and a Cardassian, you’ll definitely love Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage.

If you’d rather see Star War 7 for the umpteenth time than watch anything set in the Alpha Quadrant… you’ll probably love Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage. 

The concert is so well done you’ll swear you’re on a holodeck.  It’s that awesome. 

About the only people who won’t enjoy Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage are those who don’t enjoy the power and grandeur of a live symphony orchestra—basically those who don’t like music.

CineConcerts
Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage is produced by CineConcerts.  That’s the same company that paired symphonic concerts and projected videos for The Godfather, Gladiator, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

CineConcerts’ founders, Justin Freer and Brady Beaubien, produced the show.  Freer serves as musical director and conductor, while Beaubien wrote the script.

David H. Tanaka edited the footage and Nick Whitehouse designed the stage and lighting.

"The Star Trek franchise has for many years been an important and meaningful part of our culture in so many ways.  This exciting concert experience featuring the greatest music and visuals spanning five decades will be an extraordinary and memorable event.” – Justin Freer

Star Trek vs. Star Wars
Throughout this article I’ve placed Star Trek above Star Wars when it comes to science fiction franchises.  I’m not trying to slight Star Wars.  It is the greatest movie franchise of all-time and I hope it lives long and prospers.

Yet, it’s barely science fiction.  Saying Star Wars is science fiction is like saying The Voice is your favorite band.

When it comes to science fiction, Star Trek is mI' wa' (that’s Klingon for “number one”).  After all, Star Trek actually uses science.

One of the best ways to celebrate Star Trek is by attending Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage.   Not once will you wish for Scotty to beam you up.  It’s a beautiful experience.

Therefore, if someone asks about procuring Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage tickets just tell them: “Make it so.”

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Warriors vs. Cavs Equals Relaxation vs. Pressure

by Noiz 8. December 2015 21:55

Warriors vs. Cavs Equals Relaxation vs. Pressure

The 2015 NBA Finals were arguably the worst of all-time.

The Cleveland Cavaliers couldn’t score unless LeBron James facilitated the basket and it still took the Golden State Warriors six games to win the series.

Any previous championship team of the century would have swept the Cavs (or the Warriors).  Heck, title winners of the 1990s and 1980s would have done even better (if that’s even possible).

Yet, the hard-to-watch 2015 championship round accomplished one great thing and that is it took the pressure off the Warriors. 

The franchise, Stephen Curry, and head coach Steve Kerr will never again have to answer questions about whether or not their play style can win it all.  They don’t have to sell anyone that jump shooting, poor defense, and no post-up game is a formula to hoist championship banners.

The Warriors got their rings.  Now, they can just relax and ball.

Golden State Warriors
So far during the 2015-2016 NBA season that’s exactly what the Warriors have been doing... balling.  They’ve also been winning.  At the time of writing this article Golden State is 23-0.

They lead the league in team scoring by a seven-point margin.  Not once in their first 23 games did they score fewer than 100 points and only 6 times did they score fewer than 110 points.

The Warriors are also first in three-pointers made, three-pointers attempted, and three-point percentage. 

Even more impressive, the Warriors have played three more road games than home games.  They started the season 10-0 at home and 13-0 on the road.

G-State has managed to go a quarter of the season without a loss in large part due to zero tilts against the Cavs, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, and Oklahoma City Thunder.

To reach 2016 without a loss, Curry and company will have to survive two major hurdles. 

On Christmas Day, the real start of the NBA season, Santa is gifting us with the Warriors vs. Cavaliers.

Then on the last two days of the year, the Warriors will have to deal with the Texas twostep.  On Dec. 30, the Warriors go to Dallas to tame the Mavericks.  The following night, Warriors are in Houston to light up the Rockets.  Those two teams grappled on Oct. 30 in H-town.  The Warriors prevailed 112-92.

Still, no one would be surprised if the Warriors celebrate the New Year at 32-0.

San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs, who’d be the story of the association if not for the Warriors, are off to another terrific start.   They won 18 out of their first 22—with all four loses coming on the road.

They’re tops in the association in opponents points allowed and second in field goal percentage and defensive rebounding. 

The arrival of LaMarcus Aldridge has been a good thing.  L.A. is averaging 15.5 points and 8.9 rebounds a game. 

As for “Old Man Riverwalk,” Tim Duncan is playing more than 27 minutes a game, leading the team in rebounding and blocks, and owns the Spurs’ second best plus-minus (behind Kawhi Leonard).

The first time we get to experience Warriors vs. Spurs will be January 25.  Don’t look for the Warriors to still be undefeated, but they could have a ten-game lead in the conference.

West – Best of the Rest
Don’t sleep on the Oklahoma City Thunder.  They started 13-8 despite Kevin Durant missing 6 games.  Russell Westbrook is a threat to put up a triple double every night.

The Dallas Mavericks are relevant again.  Dirk Nowitzki is averaging a tick under 18 points and his team is averaging a tick over 100 points.

The Los Angeles Clippers started this year’s campaign 12-9, and because they’re in the same division as the Warriors, they find themselves an amazing ten games back.  Clips are in good shape considering Chris Paul and JJ Redick have been battling injuries.

Upcoming Key Matchups
Circle Jan. 27 on your NBA calendar so you can watch Spurs vs. Rockets in Alamo City.  The Clippers vs. Cavaliers takes place on March 13 (in Los Angeles).  On Feb. 3, hoop pundits will be treated to Mavericks vs. Heat in Big D.

Cleveland Cavaliers
While the pressure is off the Warriors it’s been doubled for the Cleveland Cavaliers.   Even so, no one outside of their fan base is feeling sorry for the defending Eastern Conference champs.

At press time, the Cavs are the best team in the east and James is a MVP candidate.  Better yet, Kevin Love is assimilating nicely into the offense—18.2 ppg, 43.7 FG%, and 2.3 apg.

They are also a balanced team scoring the 11th most points a game while allowing the 5th fewest points.  The Cavs are third in the East when it comes to team rebounding.

Between now and the end of the season, Cleveland only needs to win four more games— the four games needed to win a NBA Championship.  Anything short of that will be an abject failure. 

That pressure will be the Cavs’ toughest opponent this season, far more arduous than the Heat, Bulls, Raptors, or Hawks.

Miami Heat
In recent years, the east has been full of pretenders and overrated teams.  This season is different as the conference looks formidable. 

The Heat have allowed the second fewest points in the association, Dwyane Wade has found the fountain of youth, their bench is terrific, and Justise Winslow is a rookie of the year candidate (Chris Bosh has been playing well too).

The only thing that may cool the Heat’s expectations is their schedule has been a bit weak.  We’ll know if they’re legit contenders once they start playing the league’s top teams.

With that being said, Miami has split their first two meetings with Cleveland.  Heat vs. Cavaliers III is set for March 19 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.  The game could decide the top seed in the East.

East - The Best of the Rest
The Toronto Raptors are a decent defensive team and Kyle Lowry is becoming a superstar.   The Raptors had a tough early schedule which they’ve endured pretty well.

The Chicago Bulls started the season 11-7, which isn’t bad, but they have the talent to be much better.  Their offense is anemic and Derrick Rose is struggling through injuries.   They are, however, a great rebounding team.

The Atlanta Hawks need to get healthy.  They also need to improve their defense and team rebounding.  Paul Milsap and Al Horford have been carrying the squad that last year won 60 games.

Key Matchups
Bulls vs. Warriors lead the NBA’s list of games for Jan. 20.  On March 11, you’ll want to catch Celtics vs. Rockets at TD Garden in Boston.  No joke, Knicks vs, Nets, at the Garden, on April 1.

Other Games
On April 13, one of the 14 scheduled games is Lakers vs. Jazz.  It will be a meaningless contest except for one thing.  It will be Kobe Bryant’s last NBA game.

On April 10, the Philadelphia 76ers tangle with the Milwaukee Bucks.  It’s the last game Philly has any chance of winning.

If they fall to the Bucks, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that you’ll be able to count all of the 76ers wins on one hand.  After all, they started 1-20 and that includes a 119-68 drubbing at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs.

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Rihanna Streams Big In 2015 And Announces 2016 World Tour

by Noiz 1. December 2015 19:34

Rihanna Streams Big In 2015 And Announces 2016 World Tour

You know you’re a big time pop/rock star when you don’t release an album and you still have an awesome year.

You know…

… like The Beatles being the bestselling foreign act in the U.S. in the 2000s.

Or…

…. Adele’s 21 being the bestselling album for 2011 (the year it was released) and 2012.

Rihanna didn’t release an album in 2015 (or 2014) but she had an awesome year anyways—at least she had one on Spotify.

Rihanna accounted for more than one billion streams on Spotify.  That made her the most-streamed female artist on the site for 2015.

The most streamed artist was Drake.  Subscribers streamed Drizzy to the tune of 1.8 billion times.

The artist responsible for the most streams in a single day was Justin Bieber.

Beauty Behind the Madness, by the Weeknd, was the most streamed album.

Obviously…

…coming in first is a testament to Rihanna’s popularity.  Yet, it does come with an asterisk—it comes with a great, big asterisk.

She may not have released an album but she did release three singles: “FourFiveSeconds,” “Bitch Better Have My Money,” and “American Oxygen.”

Furthermore, Taylor Swift isn’t on Spotify.  She didn’t release an album this year either but she is Taylor Swift after all.

Another thing…

…Adele is on Spotify but her latest album, 25, is not.

Also adding to the asterisk’s immense girth is the three women who trailed Rihanna—Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, and Beyoncé—didn’t release an album either. 

Apparently, if you want fans to listen to your music on Spotify all you have to do is not release a new LP.

Finally…

…Rihanna will issue an album in 2016.

Her long awaited eighth studio album, Anti, is set to drop sometime next year.  The album is executive produced by Kanye West and will feature contributions from Paul McCartney, Travis Scott, and David Guetta.

While details are sparse about her pending plater, they are plentiful when it comes to her upcoming tour.

Get this…

Rihanna’s “The Anti World Tour” begins Feb. 26 in San Diego at the Viejas Arena.  Two nights later she’ll be at the SAP Center in San Jose.

Dates to circle on your calendar include…

…March 6, that’s when Rihanna performs in Dallas at the American Airlines Center…

…March 27 when Brooklyn welcomes Rihanna to the Barclays Center…

…and April 29 when Rihanna comes to Las Vegas for a gig at Mandalay Bay.

Rihanna rolls into Los Angeles on May 3 for a concert at the Forum.  That’s the penultimate stop on her route.  Her last North American show is scheduled for May 7 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

From there…

…Rihanna heads across the pond to the Old World.  Her first European date is set for June 11 in Amsterdam.

She’ll continue to collect Rihanna tickets all over the continent through Aug. 12.  That night she’ll perform in Zurich at the Letzigrund Stadion.

Her concert in Zurich will be the last and 61st of her “Anti World Tour.”  Thirty-six of those shows are planned for North America and twenty-five are booked for Europe.

This is Rihanna’s first outing since 2014’s “The Monster Tour.”

Her opening act for all North American dates will be Travis Scott.  Warming up audiences in Europe will be The Weeknd and Big Sean.

The tour is being sponsored by Samsung.  Rihanna signed a deal with the company in November.

Check out

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Rihanna Streams Big In 2015 And Announces 2016 World Tour

by Noiz 1. December 2015 19:34

Rihanna Streams Big In 2015 And Announces 2016 World Tour

You know you’re a big time pop/rock star when you don’t release an album and you still have an awesome year.

You know…

… like The Beatles being the bestselling foreign act in the U.S. in the 2000s.

Or…

…. Adele’s 21 being the bestselling album for 2011 (the year it was released) and 2012.

Rihanna didn’t release an album in 2015 (or 2014) but she had an awesome year anyways—at least she had one on Spotify.

Rihanna accounted for more than one billion streams on Spotify.  That made her the most-streamed female artist on the site for 2015.

The most streamed artist was Drake.  Subscribers streamed Drizzy to the tune of 1.8 billion times.

The artist responsible for the most streams in a single day was Justin Bieber.

Beauty Behind the Madness, by the Weeknd, was the most streamed album.

Obviously…

…coming in first is a testament to Rihanna’s popularity.  Yet, it does come with an asterisk—it comes with a great, big asterisk.

She may not have released an album but she did release three singles: “FourFiveSeconds,” “Bitch Better Have My Money,” and “American Oxygen.”

Furthermore, Taylor Swift isn’t on Spotify.  She didn’t release an album this year either but she is Taylor Swift after all.

Another thing…

…Adele is on Spotify but her latest album, 25, is not.

Also adding to the asterisk’s immense girth is the three women who trailed Rihanna—Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, and Beyoncé—didn’t release an album either. 

Apparently, if you want fans to listen to your music on Spotify all you have to do is not release a new LP.

Finally…

…Rihanna will issue an album in 2016.

Her long awaited eighth studio album, Anti, is set to drop sometime next year.  The album is executive produced by Kanye West and will feature contributions from Paul McCartney, Travis Scott, and David Guetta.

While details are sparse about her pending plater, they are plentiful when it comes to her upcoming tour.

Get this…

Rihanna’s “The Anti World Tour” begins Feb. 26 in San Diego at the Viejas Arena.  Two nights later she’ll be at the SAP Center in San Jose.

Dates to circle on your calendar include…

…March 6, that’s when Rihanna performs in Dallas at the American Airlines Center…

…March 27 when Brooklyn welcomes Rihanna to the Barclays Center…

…and April 29 when Rihanna comes to Las Vegas for a gig at Mandalay Bay.

Rihanna rolls into Los Angeles on May 3 for a concert at the Forum.  That’s the penultimate stop on her route.  Her last North American show is scheduled for May 7 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

From there…

…Rihanna heads across the pond to the Old World.  Her first European date is set for June 11 in Amsterdam.

She’ll continue to collect Rihanna tickets all over the continent through Aug. 12.  That night she’ll perform in Zurich at the Letzigrund Stadion.

Her concert in Zurich will be the last and 61st of her “Anti World Tour.”  Thirty-six of those shows are planned for North America and twenty-five are booked for Europe.

This is Rihanna’s first outing since 2014’s “The Monster Tour.”

Her opening act for all North American dates will be Travis Scott.  Warming up audiences in Europe will be The Weeknd and Big Sean.

The tour is being sponsored by Samsung.  Rihanna signed a deal with the company in November.

Check out

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